BWCA CRT to Rose Falls/Cliffs Hiking Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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TreeGuy
  
09/01/2023 04:25PM  
I'm planning a hiking trip with my lady and our two dogs for the beginning of October and would like to hike the CRT to the Rose Lake waterfall and overlook. I had considered completing this as a day hike but after reading about the difficulty I think it might be a bit much for our dogs to do as an out and back in one day.

I'm curious if anybody has any recommendations for campsites near the Rose Lake overlook that can be accessed via hiking so we could break up the hiking into two days. I see there are a few campsites on Rose Lake and Partridge, and one on South Lake as well, that can be accessed via hiking. Is the Border Route Trail challenging in that stretch between the Rose Lake Stairway Portage and Partridge? How about the BRT going the other direction between Rose and Clearwater? I have given some thought to staying at the campsite on East Partridge and doing a loop back around Moss lake on our way back, but I know that campsite on Partridge is not very desirable and I don't know much about the rest of that loop hike. The other thought is hiking east on the BRT after the Rose overlook and staying at one of the nicer sites on Rose that can be accessed via hiking and then backtracking the next day out the CRT.

I'm not sure if that amount of hiking to one of the Rose Lake sites would be just as challenging as going out and back in one day on the CRT without the extra hiking on the BRT to Rose or Partridge. I'm also not sure how busy this area is in early October with the fall foliage and if we'd have a problem finding an open site as it is. I do see some people camp right on the trail as a last resort near the Rose Portage but I wouldn't want to do that.

I'd be open to other suggestions as well if camping near Rose doesn't work out. Another thought was to hike the BRT from Clearwater to the Mountain Lake overlook and then backtracking to the campsite on Clearwater.

Any tips or suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!



 
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09/01/2023 09:53PM  
I just did a thru-hike of the BRT last October. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you do not attempt to hike from Rose Lake to Clearwater unless you don’t mind hiking through two football field lengths of water (forcing your dog to swim as well) where the beavers have flooded the “Long Portage” in two spots. The water is about knee deep for most of it, but there are sections that are waist + deep as well. The water was extremely cold (Lake Superior, but worse) and extremely painful on the skin. We packed in extra shoes that could get wet, and stripped down. Again, unless you’re doing a BRT Thru-hike I don’t really recommend, esp in October.

We stayed at the Partridge Lake Campsite and its an eerie hike down from the main trail through a lot of blowdown. Also might have been the time of year…. But one we were there it was a cute campsite in a narrow part of the lake giving almost a river feel.

Personally the East Rose campsite is best of your options. The campsite on South Lake sounded SUPER nice, but we didn’t check it out.

If you wanted to make your hike a little longer, I also HIGHLY recommend Bridal Veil Falls (further west), and you’ll have a few more camping options that direction as well.

If you’re bringing a cell phone, download the Border Route Trail App. Super informative, and helpful, and works with GPS on your phone even in Airplane mode and you can see where you’re at, where to get water, and campsite descriptions.
09/02/2023 10:22AM  
I did the Rose Cliffs loop back in 2019 and thoroughly enjoyed it. A few thoughts...

The stretch of BRT from Partridge to Rose is definitely rugged. Not quite as rugged as the CRT, but it definitely had its share of technicality and elevation.

On that note, the CRT is pretty tough, and though it could be done twice in a day (in and out) if you were only carrying snacks and water, once was enough for me (with a ~35lb backpack).

The East Partridge site is hampered by blowndown, but has a nice feel being on the water. The South site requires a pretty steep ~300ft climb down to the lake, and is also marred with blowdown, but also has a nice view.

If you wanted to do the entire loop in 2 days, I would suggest going clockwise from Moss to East Partridge, and then East Partridge back to the trailhead. The first day on the Moss and South Lake Trails, with the short stint on the BRT, is pretty easy compared to the rest of the BRT and CRT.

I thought about bushwhacking from the Rose Falls portage over to a site just to the west, but didn't want to bet on it being open - otherwise I think we would've preferred to skip East Partridge and stay on Rose instead.

I took some video during my hike, though not enough of the CRT itself. Mostly because I was busy huffing and puffing. A few 60 degree inclines prompted "there's no way the trail goes up like that.... no..... nooooo......". Take a look, hopefully it proves helpful in some way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sltWPe8mRkM

I hope you find a suitable hike for you and your puppers!
09/02/2023 10:03PM  
The CRT is a tough and rugged hike, but it is also a beautiful hike with lots of great overlooks before you even get to Rose. My wife and I did the CRT to Rose Falls and back as a day hike on a hot and sunny day in August about 10 years ago.

It took us about 7 hours from start to finish. It took about 2 hours longer than we thought it would based on the distance and other hikes we'd done in the area. There are a lot of switch backs and up and down elevation changes. There were places that we were grabbing roots in order to pull ourselves up some steep climbs.

We brought a lunch and snacks and a lot of extra water bottles. I was so glad that I threw the water filter in the pack because we went through the extra water bottles and refilled them all twice.

We really earned our Trail Center dinner that day.
TreeGuy
  
09/11/2023 05:14PM  
Thanks for all the info, super helpful! I think we're going to stay at a site on Rose and double back the next day out the CRT.
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1982)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2023 06:54PM  
MN_Lindsey: "I just did a thru-hike of the BRT last October. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you do not attempt to hike from Rose Lake to Clearwater unless you don’t mind hiking through two football field lengths of water (forcing your dog to swim as well) where the beavers have flooded the “Long Portage” in two spots. The water is about knee deep for most of it, but there are sections that are waist + deep as well. The water was extremely cold (Lake Superior, but worse) and extremely painful on the skin. "


The beaver has since built a dam parallel to the trail and the 2 big ponds that were there last fall are now dry. But the beaver recently added a "L" addition to the dam that has started to create a shallow pond upstream of the previous ponds. Who knows what it will be up to next...busy, busy beaver.
09/12/2023 08:07PM  
Spent the night of 9/5 on Rose Lake. There was lots of notes at our site (plastic bag on fire grate) indicating recent presence of bears - including the previous night of our stay. Spent the night of 9/6 on Mountain Lake and a bear was in our camp that night. Take a look at the link below for insight on dogs and bears.

https://bearwise.org/bear-safety-tips/dogs-and-bears/
09/12/2023 08:37PM  
straighthairedcurly: "
MN_Lindsey: "I just did a thru-hike of the BRT last October. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you do not attempt to hike from Rose Lake to Clearwater unless you don’t mind hiking through two football field lengths of water (forcing your dog to swim as well) where the beavers have flooded the “Long Portage” in two spots. The water is about knee deep for most of it, but there are sections that are waist + deep as well. The water was extremely cold (Lake Superior, but worse) and extremely painful on the skin. "



The beaver has since built a dam parallel to the trail and the 2 big ponds that were there last fall are now dry. But the beaver recently added a "L" addition to the dam that has started to create a shallow pond upstream of the previous ponds. Who knows what it will be up to next...busy, busy beaver."


Those son of a beavers!!!!!!!!!

If you’ll be at Wingnight we’ll have to chat about this.
 
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